Baby, it’s cold outside, and when those temperatures dip, many of us run for the safety of our heated homes. But let’s face it, few of us enjoy spending an entire season as a couch potato. Despite our best intentions, it can be a challenge to beat the winter blues. Until now. Here are six easy ways to survive the winter with your sanity intact!
- Bust out your slow cooker
Nothing beats digging into hot stew or homemade baked beans when the temperatures plummet, but many of your favorite stick-to-your-ribs meals take a lot of time to prepare. After a long day at work, you don’t always have the energy or patience to stand in front of the stove for a couple of hours. If you end up relying on microwavable meals more often than naught, it’s time you leave behind the high sodium cardboard for a savory dish that impresses your taste buds.
All you need is a slow cooker. This handy kitchen appliance cooks dishes on a low heat over several hours, and it’s perfectly safe to leave unattended. That means you can combine the ingredients of your favorite winter meal at the start of your day, and by the time you return from work, it will be ready to eat. A hot, homemade meal goes a long way to improving your mood during the dark nights of winter, so check out these easy recipes for inspiration and get cooking!
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Between the blistering winds outside and the dry air inside, harsh winter conditions are no friend to your skin. And those hot showers you take to warm yourself up do nothing to help! When the season does its best to strip your skin of moisture, you need to fight back. Prevent cracked lips and knuckles by investing in serious lip balms and moisturizers this winter.
With recent studies proving they don’t add any moisture to your skin, avoid products with petroleum in them. Instead, focus on products like these ones that rely on natural oils for hydration. While you can use the same lotion for your body as your hands, you may want to buy a specific product for your face and lips, as these are more sensitive than the rest of your body. Boost their moisturizing powers by adding a humidifier in your home and try to limit your hot showers.
- Beat SAD with a UV lamp
Many people despise the winter not for its cold temperatures, but for it’s long, dark nights. We rely on the sun to regulate our levels of serotonin and Vitamin D, and once these drop, so do our moods.The season’s shorter days and limited sun exposure are responsible for the rise in cases of SAD. Short for Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD is an aptly named mood disorder that describes the depression people suffer when they don’t get enough sunlight.
If you know the shortened days leave you feeling blue, consider buying a SAD lamp. It’s a lamp that mimics the same kind of wavelengths as daylight in a way that tricks the body into believing it’s sunny outside. Studies show these lamps can reduce levels of depression and improve the body’s circadian rhythms.
- Protect your phone from the elements
Snow, sleet, hail, and rain: they’re the typical weather conditions you can expect in the winter—and sometimes on the same day! You pile on your wicking and fleece layers, jackets, scarf, hats, and mitts, but do you dress your tech in any weather appropriate gear? If you ever use your iPhone to call a friend, shoot off a text, or check the directions to a restaurant in any of these conditions, you should.
Like your sensitive skin, the body of your iPhone needs some protection from the elements. Though a mini North Face jacket for your handset would be a cute accessory, it would make it hard to use it. Luckily, you don’t need to imprison your smartphone in order to protect it. iPhone skins are a thin water-resistant layer that stand up to winter, as well as scratches, dents, and grime. And just like your winter gear, the skin you wrap around your phone is easy to customize no matter what generation you have. You can even find the coolest skin options for your iPhone X if you’ve upgraded to Apple’s newest handset.
- Join a club
After work and gobbling up that slow cooked stew, you probably want nothing more than to wrap yourself into a blanket burrito and binge watch Netflix series after Netflix series. Before you start your third re-watching of Mindhunter, put down the controller. While it’s natural to spend more time relaxing indoors during the winter, don’t let the season fool you into hibernating through out it all.
Try to stay active by joining an indoor sports league. Not only will it help you keep moving, but it’s an easy way to make friends. If you’re not a sporty person, don’t worry. You can join a local book club to get out of the house and meet new people. These clubs can give you the motivation to leave your couch for at least one night. When you meet with your new friends regularly, your extra curriculars can help pass the time so winter doesn’t seem so long.
- Get a subscription box membership
Sometimes, the only way to survive the winter with your sanity intact is through bribery. Don’t feel like you’re above it; it’s an incredibly effective method when done correctly, and it’s easy now that subscription boxes are trendy. With a membership, these subscription boxes let you receive a sampling of themed products straight to your door.